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< Garen

Champion Background Strategy Skins & Trivia

Skill usage

  •  Garen's strength as a bruiser comes from his passive,  Perseverance and  Courage to keep himself healthy along with his decent early damage and utility from  Decisive Strike and  Judgment, with  Demacian Justice providing a reliable and powerful execute.
  •  Garen's health regeneration is greatly increased due to his passive,  Perseverance. This only activates if he can avoid receiving champion or monster damage for 9 seconds, granting him exceptional sustainability in lane as minions do not stop this effect.
  •  Garen's  Decisive Strike makes him a powerful chaser, easily closing the gap and silencing enemies before they can cast a slow or any debuff. It can also be used to make a swift escape since it removes slows.
    • This makes  Garen very strong against most caster-type champions due to its silence; disrupting combos can save teammates by preventing casters (both AP and AD) from comfortably using all their skills before they endanger themselves, especially since Garen himself is naturally tanky enough to rush in with little casualties, be it 1 v 1 or in a large teamfight.
  •  Decisive Strike can be used effectively to push lanes, as this ability also affects structures (turrets and inhibitors).
  • Using  Decisive Strike to catch up with, silence, and deal damage to a fleeing champion is the perfect precursor to a killing blow with  Demacian Justice.
  •  Decisive Strike can be used to return to/move between lanes quickly, as it has no mana costs and a fairly low cooldown, especially at higher ranks.
  •  Decisive Strike resets  Garen's auto-attack timer, effectively allowing him to deal good damage in a short period of time. However,  Garen will have to come to melee range without a speed boost if he uses the skill to double-attack.
  •  Garen can be lethal in early game fights, especially after getting his ultimate.  Judgment deals good continuous damage to enemies and  Decisive Strike's speed boost is good for chasing enemies.  Demacian Justice also does extra damage based on how much health the enemy has missing
  •  Garen's best starting skill is  Decisive Strike, as it can be used to last-hit, silence, speed himself up, remove slows, reset autoattacks and has very high burst damage at early levels.
  •  Courage and  Decisive Strike mix well for a powerful chasing and escape combo. The speed boost from  Decisive Strike allows you to get in or out of range, while the damage reduction of  Courage allows you to mitigate any retaliation from enemies.
  • Because of his strong early game damage from  Judgment,  Garen lanes well with a partner with an early game stun such as  Sion's  Cryptic Gaze or  Taric's  Dazzle, though he is most often played as a solo top laner.
  • Unlike other abilities,  Judgment remains active when  Garen is stunned because it is not a channeled spell.
  • With some points into  Judgment,  Garen can easily farm and push minions with it.
  •  Judgment is  Garen's main source of damage, but has a significant cooldown and long duration to maximize its damage. Make sure you activate  Judgment properly or you will be left being fairly ineffectual in combat while it is on cooldown.
  • Beware that  Demacian Justice can be blocked by Banshee's Veil and its damage depends on the enemy champion's magic resistance and missing health.
  •  Demacian Justice can be activated during  Judgment on an enemy at low health. This will cause  Garen to immediately end his spin and cast if the target is in range.
  • While any champion benefits from brush control,  Garen excels at this due to the threat of his gap closing and damage capabilities; use this to your advantage, especially against ranged opponents.

Build usage

 Garen is a melee champion, who excels in quickly killing priority targets and being able to soak up tons of damage.

  • The Brutalizer is a good early item for him and can later be built into The Black Cleaver, which is very effective on  Garen as  Judgment can quickly apply stacks on multiple enemies.
    • Another option would be Youmuu's Ghostblade; it gives similar AD and Armor penetration, but it also gives critical chance and a short boost to movement and attack speed. This makes it a great late game item when critical chance outscales raw AD and  Garen can use the extra attack speed to help destroy turrets.
    • They can also be built together for an easy source of 20% CDR to combine with Spirit Visage. This also increases wave minion clear due to minions having low armor values.
  • Last Whisper is a good counter to teams stacking mass amounts of armor but gives no defensive stats, which are important if you are to survive the enemy's damage long enough to deal yours.
  • As both  Decisive Strike and  Judgment benefit from critical strike, items such as Infinity Edge increases the ability's damage output as well as his basic attacks.
  • Atma's Impaler can be a decent item to finish  Garen's build, as it gives AD and crit chance along with armor.
  • Maw of Malmortius is a good anti-mage item. An early Hexdrinker can help  Garen against high burst magic damage.
  •  Courage scales with  Garen's armor and magic resistance; therefore, purchasing items with said stats makes the ability more effective.
  • Spirit Visage synergizes well with  Perseverance, easily allowing him to regenerate 0.48% of his health each second.
  • Frozen Mallet is an excellent health item for  Garen, as it provides some attack damage and a powerful slow to help  Garen stick to his target. It also synergizes well with Atma's Impaler.
  • Warmog's Armor can be a good choice as well; the item's passive along with  Perseverance allows him to regenerate 0.6% of his health per second, allowing him to recover health quickly after teamfights without going back to base. The extra health along with  Courage makes him very hard to kill in a teamfight.
  • In combination with  Judgment, an early Sunfire Cape helps with  Garen's wave clearing capabilities, as well as providing mixed damage and constant threat.
  • Randuin's Omen can help greatly against being kited and reduces the enemy ranged carry's DPS. An early Warden's Mail is good against auto-attack reliant champions such as  Kayle,  Xin Zhao,  Fiora, etc.

Recommended builds

Summoner's Rift
Starting Doran's Shield item Health Potion item Warding Totem item
Essential Boots of Swiftness item Aegis of the Legion item The Black Cleaver item
Offensive Youmuu's Ghostblade item Infinity Edge item
Defensive Guardian Angel item Atma's Impaler item Sunfire Cape item Warmog's Armor item
Consumables Health Potion item Sight Ward item
The Howling Abyss
Starting Boots of Speed item Doran's Shield item Doran's Blade item Health Potion item2
Essential Boots of Swiftness item Aegis of the Legion item The Black Cleaver item
Offensive Youmuu's Ghostblade item Infinity Edge item Atma's Impaler item
Defensive Sunfire Cape item Spirit Visage item
Consumables Health Potion item
The Crystal Scar
Starting Boots of Speed item Prospector's Blade item Health Potion item2
Essential Boots of Swiftness item The Black Cleaver item Spirit Visage item
Offensive Youmuu's Ghostblade item Lord Van Damm's Pillager item Entropy item
Defensive Guardian Angel item Atma's Impaler item Sunfire Cape item Aegis of the Legion item
Consumables Health Potion item
The Twisted Treeline
Starting Doran's Shield item Boots of Speed item
Essential Aegis of the Legion item The Black Cleaver item Boots of Swiftness item
Offensive Youmuu's Ghostblade item Lord Van Damm's Pillager item
Defensive Atma's Impaler item Sunfire Cape item Overlord's Bloodmail item
Consumables Health Potion item


  •  Garen damage output is very high early game; avoid early confrontations and play passively if needed.
  • Harass  Garen in lane every few seconds, if possible, to minimize the effect of  Perseverance.
    • Ranged champions can easily stop  Perseverance with an auto-attack (unless  Garen goes farther back, which forces him to miss last-hits) and farm in lane at a safe distance from him - they generally also have abilities to keep their distance. Ranged carries will scale stronger than him in this situation.
  • Avoid going into a brush that does not have a ward in it if  Garen's current whereabouts are unknown.  Garen players have a tendency to hide in bushes, due to the synergy between his silence from  Decisive Strike and damage from  Judgment.
  •  Garen is a cooldown based champion. However, all of his ability cooldowns are high. Try to attack him when they are on cooldown.
  •  Decisive Strike is very good at stopping combos due to its silence; if you happen to be playing a caster champion who relies a lot on their abilities to deal most of their damage, be wary of this ability as  Garen can save a teammate or even himself from your burst, as well as leaving you without the use of your defensive abilities or summoners such as Flash.
  • Be very cautious when low on health and  Garen's  Demacian Justice is off cooldown.
  • It is often worth the investment to purchase armor to counter  Garen's high physical damage.
  • Think carefully before using your Crowd Control abilities on  Garen. His  Decisive Strike will remove Slows and  Courage will reduce the duration of such abilities by 30% while active. Additionally, hard CC will not stop  Judgment, only his movement. Keep away from him, especially if playing squishier champions as it deals very high damage over a short duration. 
  • Like most melee champions,  Garen is quite vulnerable to ranged harassment.
    • However, because of his high damage and better durability, he can force ranged champions away or even kill them if he gets all his damage off.
  • Buying a Hexdrinker may help as it can block a fair amount of damage from  Garen's  Demacian Justice early on. Do not forget that his main form of damage is still physical, however.
  • Because  Garen usually builds a lot of health, getting champions or items that deal % health damage can cause him to melt quickly, such as  Blade of the Ruined King's active and passive,  Amumu's  Despair,  Kog'Maw's  Bio-Arcane Barrage,  Vayne's  Silver Bolts and  Zed's  Contempt for the Weak. Being able to outsustain his damage will also help.
  •  Teemo is considered to be one of the best known counters to  Garen. He can effectively poke and escape from him, if played correctly.  Teemo's  Blinding Dart can be used to both deal damage and prevent him from dealing damage with  Decisive Strike (the silence will still affect you).  Toxic Shot allows you to harass and prevent his  Perseverance from activating, and  Noxious Trap allows you to slow and zone him. Use it while you are escaping from him, then retaliate when he attempts to escape. Keep in mind, however, that his combo is strong enough to kill you at early levels and he can utilize the brush to prevent you from harassing him.

Champion Spotlight

Garen Champion Spotlight06:21

Garen Champion Spotlight

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